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AN EXPANDED PARADIGM FOR THE BODY/MIND CONTINUUM: ITS EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

AL J DICKINSON, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

The basic premise is that the dualistic, reductionist, mechanistic rational model of the universe developed by individuals such as Descartes and Newton has led to an experienced split between the body and the mind which is at the heart of the growing cultural crisis in the west. This dissertation describes an emerging holistic paradigm which posits a body/mind continuum. This new challenge to the rational model finds support in a number of diverse sources: modern physics, the world views of a number of classical cultures, several body-based psychological therapies indigenous to the west, and recent work in brain research and holographic studies. From an exploration of these sources, we will identify a perspective from which the body/mind split is resolved into a continuum.^ A corollary to the basic premise is that a culture's view of and attitude toward the physical body structures a number of its key sciences and disciplines in a primary way. The theory and practice in such diverse fields as psychology, medicine, education and physical education are all radically affected by the prevailing view of the body. The process of developing this new paradigm will help us explore the role of the body in education generally, in health education and in physical education. This exploration leads to an expanded model of psycho-physical cultivation which is called "kinetic education." Answering John Dewey is call for psycho-physical education, lest our education become mis-education, the kinetic education model can become a valuable tool in alleviating problems as seemingly diverse as stress in the corporate world, inadequate health care in the cities or in poorer nations, difficulties in learning and behavior in our school systems, and inadequacies in our medical education. Through the psycho-physical cultivation of kinetic education, we can experience directly the reality of the body/mind continuum and the holistic paradigm. From this experiential base, we can both learn and experience within ourselves the interconnected realities of the new physics, the classical cultures of China and India, and the electronic webs of computers and telecommunications systems. We can also develop that internal discipline so clearly lacking in our present system, and so necessary as a foundation for the lifetime evolution of true education, health and fitness. ^

Subject Area

Physical education

Recommended Citation

DICKINSON, AL J, "AN EXPANDED PARADIGM FOR THE BODY/MIND CONTINUUM: ITS EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS" (1982). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8210314.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8210314

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